Plague (or plague in carnivores) is a serious disease that can unsettle any owner. This ailment is inherently infectious and in most cases brings the dog to death, and its age is not so important. At the same time, distemper in dogs is not the end of the story, it can and should be fought. How? Let’s figure it out right now.
The causes of plague disease
It’s all about the paramyxovirus, it is he who is considered the “hero of the occasion.” Damaging the nervous system, brain, respiratory tract, digestive organs and skin, it simply puts the dog out of action.
A pet can become infected as you like, there are too many dangers around, but the most common reasons are:
- direct contact with household items of an infected individual (e.g. combs, scissors, bowls) of an infected dog
- direct contact with saliva, feces, or urine of an infected individual
- transport of the virus by owners to the home from the environment (for example, on the soles of shoes)
- communication with wild animals (for example, foxes, wolves, hyenas, and others)
Forms of the disease
Unfortunately, in such a situation, there is no way to help the pet. The first signs, as a rule, appear after a few hours, after which the dog dies, regardless of whether it received prompt assistance (in the clinic / at home) or not.
The first symptoms will be noticeable within about 5 to 7 hours after infection. If a puppy is infected, most likely it will not be possible to save it, but if you help them in time, adult dogs have a chance (albeit small) to survive.
In most cases, dogs aged 10 and older are at risk, although this does not mean that younger individuals cannot contract distemper. The dog usually becomes lethargic, apathetic, he refuses to eat, he has problems with the gastrointestinal tract, watery eyes and nose, and in general it looks unwell.
The plague manifests itself approximately one to three weeks after infection. If the pet is promptly assisted, it has a fairly high chance of surviving.
This is the most dangerous form, since it is asymptomatic for a fairly long period, although the destruction of the animal’s body nevertheless occurs. This usually lasts until the infection reaches the pet’s nervous system, after which death occurs.
Symptoms of canine distemper
As you have already seen, distemper is not only a serious, but also an insidious disease, so you need to be as observant as possible in order to help in time and, if possible, save the animal. Yes, it does not manifest itself immediately, but when it appears, you need to not miss this moment.
So, the symptoms that can occur with distemper are as follows:
- With damage to the digestive system, the dog’s lack of appetite manifests itself, followed by weight loss. Frequent diarrhea (sometimes with bloody discharge) is also observed. The pet develops bad breath, and is constantly thirsty.
- If the respiratory system is affected, the symptoms will manifest itself in the form of coughing, heavy breathing, sometimes intermittently, pus may also be released from the eyes and nose and there is an increased temperature.
- When the brain and central nervous system are affected, this is accompanied by seizures and inappropriate behavior (lethargy, and then violent aggression or vice versa), the dog also becomes sensitive to light, its temperature rises and problems with coordination begin.
- With skin lesions, the symptoms will be as follows:
- the formation of small ulcers in the groin and muzzle;
- a rash and a rough crust on the skin appear;
- loss of appetite;
- the animal is exhausted and inactive.
Also, it should be noted that all the symptoms are not manifested all together, but only one manifestation is possible (for example, diarrhea). Although in most cases, the dog begins to suffer from all of them at the same time.
Note: yes, it is difficult to recognize the disease, but early signs of distemper in dogs can save her life or at least relieve her suffering.
Disease treatment methods
One of the most decisive factors in the possible recovery of a pet is the timely professional assistance provided, which, moreover, must have an integrated approach. If you notice signs in the behavior or condition of the dog, which suggest the idea of distemper at a pace, you need to take it to a veterinary clinic or call a doctor at home. After the examination and determination of the form of the disease, treatment is prescribed, which usually includes several directions.
- specific (which consists in taking sera and immunoglobulins)
- also used immunostimulants and immunomodulators (for example, Immunofan, Ribotan, Fosprenil and others)
- sypotomatic (prescribed the intake of antibacterial medications that suppress the second microflora)
- cardiac, astringent drugs, vitamin complexes, electrolytes (which at times reduce the level of intoxication and eliminate dehydration in the pet’s body), antihistamines are also prescribed
- medications are used that prevent seizures and stimulate the activity of the central nervous system (for example, Forvet)
It is recommended to place the pet in a separate room or room, without bright lighting (the less light, the better) and drafts, where it will be dry, warm and quiet.
Preventive measures against distemper
The best way is probably vaccination. The first vaccination of a pet must be done at the age of 2-3 months, and a revaccination should be carried out after another month. Further, the dog needs to be vaccinated at least once a year. Before vaccination, it is recommended to pickle fleas and worms in the dog, and in general make sure that it is healthy, otherwise it is better to postpone the vaccination until the animal recovers.
It is necessary to pay a lot of attention to the dog’s immunity, which implies good nutrition, intake of vitamin complexes, an active lifestyle, timely treatment, and so on. After all, if the dog is healthy, this significantly reduces the chances of the plague to take its body prisoner, or, if this happens, it will pass in a mild form.
Cleanliness is the key to health. It is necessary to regularly air the apartment and do wet cleaning. Walking around the house in outdoor shoes is not recommended. In a word, observe all precautions so that an uninvited ailment does not have a loophole to the pet.